Mr Kyps Live Music Venue, Poole

Featuring October Fires, Ordering Chaos, Beth Bayliss, Hello Hawaii and Bad Magic

ACMR Battle of the Bands

We all know and love it, it’s the go to place for fans of live music in this area, and today (being Sunday the 15th of July, 2012) the stage was set for the ACMR Battle of the Bands Final, with five bands fighting it out for the top prize, professional studio time and £250 cold hard cash.

The day started off well, the typical schizophrenia we’ve grown to expect from the weather was, thankfully, absent, and hordes of people were lined up outside, anxious to come in. The first band up – a bunch of rockers known as October Fires.

ACMR Battle of the Bands

Opening to a slightly thin crowd with an original song, entitled Beelzebub, these three guys perfectly showcased their ability. Musically, they were tight, really solid. You could easily see why they made it through to the final round, and how much they had rehearsed for their shot at the top spot.

Vocally, I was impressed, each member of the band had a strong enough voice to hold their own, effortlessly hitting each note with very little mistakes, and after they finished their songs, despite the slightly thin crowd, there was a rapturous round of applause.

Then they really put a spin on things. The guitarist set down his axe, and grabbed something from the top of his amp…whispers went throughout the crowd: “is that a saxophone?”

…and it was. They played a Pink Floyd/Led Zeppelin medley, with a sax. It was wonderfully different and interesting, really appealed to me.

Sadly, I mentioned effortlessness before, it seemed as though October Fire were a little intimidated, as fresh and musically talented their set was, the threesome lacked a little energy, in my opinion. Nevertheless, it was a pleasure watching them, I’d definitely say to look out for these guys.

Band Number Two – Ordering Chaos
Playing venues such as On The Rocks Bar in Bournemouth, Ordering Chaos have become a well known band, and this much was evident by the troupe of fans who turned out to see these guys play their music. I couldn’t turn a corner without seeing some girl with flourescent hair and ‘O.C.’ drawn on a random body part, and from the moment they came on stage, The Pink Ladies of Parkstone ran to the front and screamed their hearts out.

And off they set, rampaging through mostly ‘The New Stuff’, material that has clear classic rock influences, with a small Metallica/Alter Bridge tinge to them. Very bare-bones, raw and slightly charming for it. A few fan favourites were thrown around too, such as the ever popular “Unbroken”, which ironically, bassist Conor broke a string during.

It was good stuff, quite repetitive on one hand, yet some good anthems just to jump around to, and there’s no arguing that they have the most active fanbase of most local bands aorund here.

Unfortunately, the fluidity of the set was soured somewhat by the post song noodling, there was a gap between songs where there would be a lot of fiddling about on the drums and guitars, and even an impromptu bass solo that the band themselves seemed shocked by! Nevertheless, O.C. are a competent band, and can certainely put on a good show.

Act Three – Beth Bayliss
Something a little different now, Beth Bayliss, a solo acoustic act, mellowing out the feel of the fast paced Battle Of The Bands.

…and it was brilliant, for two reasons;

Reason Number One – Her voice. Most definitely the most beautiful voice that night, Beth perfectly utilises her gift to compliment her songs with a soaring, yet soft voice.

Reason Number Two – it takes guts to get up there by yourself, and Beth more than had the ability to prove her worth.

Hats off to you there, Ms Bayliss.

Act Numero Quatre – Bad Magic
These guys. As soon as they were introduced, with little room for compromise, they blasted straight into their first song “Loaded Gun”, with explosive energy and a whole lot of power.

All the members have presence of their own, jumping about left right and centre, hair flying around, all the while barely missing a beat during each and every song.

Chris on the guitar and vocals displays a surprising amount of energy for his age, but these guys can hold their own against people twice their age!

The best song of their set, in my opinion, had to be Get Out Of My Head, the catchy, simplistic shuffle beat riff got people moving at just the right time, too, and I noticed (whilst not as manic as the O.C. fans), that there was a multitude of Bad Magic T shirts that night, showing the dedicated fan base these four have trailing behind them. They certainely left their mark on the Kyps stage that night, leaving to a thunderous round of applause.

Number Five – Hello Hawaii
The final band, Hello Hawaii, burst onto the stage with their own catchy brand of indie rock. Fresh faced and eager to please, they played their hearts out, with a good reception from the amped up crowd.

Vocally, the performance was interesting, a bit nasally, and reminiscent of R.E.M. to more than a few onlookers.

Overall, despite seeming shy and intimidated, they played a decent set, did Hello Hawaii.

Look out for these guys!

The Final Results:

After a hefty afternoon, the final decision was made, the various fans awaited the decision with bated breath.

And it was so, that every band got a well deserved mention, there wasn’t a single awful act that day.

Second place went to the impressive Hello Hawaii, who seemed pleased with their result, hopefully they’ll make it to bigger things real soon.

…and the overall winners of the night? Bad Magic, with their explosive brand of rock music, took a rightful first place, accompanied by raucous cheers from the crowd.

As a whole, this battle of the bands was a perfect way of showcasing the talent around Bournemouth, and it was a day no one will forget for a long, long time.

ACMR Battle of the Bands

Band Links!/pages/Hello-Hawaii/206523869396697

For More information about ACMR;

Review By Mike Masters.

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